(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Dance on the Lawn, Montclair, NJ’s outdoor dance festival, will return this year to the front lawn of the Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton Avenue, on Saturday, September 10 from 3:00pm-5:00pm. Live performances will include Nai-Ni Chen and Company, Maxine Steinman & Dancers, Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts and more. Also included in this year’s program will be an original work by William Ervin, winner of Dance on the Lawn’s 2022 “Emerging Commissioned NJ Choreographer” award. The event is free.
In addition, Dance on the Lawn welcomes the warmth of summer with "Garden Dances," an informal outdoor gathering hosted by community friends of DOTL at their homes. Garden Dances will be held on August 18 featuring DOTL (2018) performers Sameena Mitta/MeenMoves. Hosts for this special fundraising event are Nina Cooke John & Andre John. To attend, RSVP TO firstname.lastname@example.org. Location information for this special event will be provided with reservation confirmation.
Dance on the Lawn, celebrating its ninth year, serves as a showcase and mentoring launchpad for NJ and NY’s finest choreographic talent. The yearly DOTL Festival offers Montclair residents and neighboring communities a sneak peek at emerging and established artists from New Jersey and the New York area.
Founded by Montclair resident Charmaine Warren in 2014, Dance on the Lawn hopes to increase New Jersey’s exposure to dance by bringing professional and emerging companies, plus students of dance from around the state, together to perform in a community setting. In addition to offering presentation opportunities, Dance on the Lawn created an “Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer” and mentor program to help support young, emerging artists.
“We are so fortunate to again be able to feature Nai-Ni Chen and Company at Dance on the Lawn. We were lucky to have been colleagues with Nai-Ni, who tragically passed away in Hawaii this past December. Nai-Ni always said to us, ‘I am happy to help.’ We are so honored to have shared so many precious moments,” said Charmaine Warren, Founder/Artistic Director and Laura Marchese, Managing Director of Dance on the Lawn.
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Charmaine Warren, DOTL founder, is also the founder/artistic director of Black Dance Stories. She was named the 2021 “Bessies Angel” and won a 2017 Bessie Award for "Outstanding Performance" as part of The Skeleton Architecture Collective. She is also winner of the Dance NJ’s JETÉ AWARD, in honor of founding the Dance on the Lawn Festival. Dance NJ is the service organization committed to advocating the excellence of dance and dance education in the state. Ms. Warren, together with Laura Marchese, DOTL Managing Director, are the guiding force behind "Dance on the Lawn: Montclair's Dance Festival.” Ms. Marchese is a recipient of a NJ Governor's Arts in Education Distinguished Teaching Artist Award, as well as an Artist of the Year Award. In 2018, Ms. Marchese received national recognition as a Master Teaching Artist in Dance by Young Audiences Arts for Learning.
The New Jersey State Arts Council has given four awards to Dance on the Lawn artists: Nancy Turano, Artistic Director, NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble, DOTL artist since 2014-2018; Kyle Marshall, DOTL 2016 "Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer" recipient; Lauren Connolly, DOTL 2017 "Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer" recipient; and Hillary-Marie, Choreographer/Director FutureSTEP Tap Company, DOTL 2017 participating artist.
Dance on the Lawn also acknowledges the support of dance company 10 Hairy Legs, which donated their net assets to DOTL following the company’s dissolution. The 10HL funding specifically supports the annual DOTL NJ Emerging Commissioned Choreographer award.
PHOTOS: (TOP) Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, photo credit: Ethan Pose; (MIDDLE) William A. Ervin Jr., DOTL 2022 “Emerging Commissioned NJ Choreographer, photo credit: NhyiraK Photography; (BOTTOM) Maxine Steinman & Dancers, photo credit: Darial Sneed.